The Most Serene Republic : Fantasick Impossibliss EP

<img src="" alt=" " />Darker days in The Most Serene Republic. ...
7.5 Arts & Crafts

The Most Serene Republic : Fantasick Impossibliss EP

The Most Serene Republic are a complex and constantly changing band, something they couldn’t – and wouldn’t – deny.  They started off on a more indietronica note with 2005’s Underwater Cinematographer, but then shifted to a disconcerting rhythm with the following year’s Phages EP.  2007’s Population (QRO review) struck some as harkening to the collective sounds of labelmates Broken Social Scene (QRO spotlight on), though The Republic didn’t think so (QRO interview), but last year’s …And the Ever-Expanding Universe (QRO review) saw them, well, More Serene.  Yet Fantasick Impossibliss knocks the listener back on his heels with even more disconcerting and haunting atmospherics.

The Most Serene Republic have always filled out the time between full-lengths with EPs (between Population and Universe was the remix Digital Population EP), and the EPs have given the band a chance to more fully experiment – though not to be experimental.  The group does not employ weird electronics or ‘found sounds’ like Animal Collective (QRO album review), but rather marry their classical instruction with indie-rock instrumentation.  Still, Fantasick eschews the more pop-friendly ways of LP singles such as Universe‘s "Heavens to Purgatory" or Population‘s "The Men Who Live Upstairs" for the off-setting rhythms of Phages‘ title track (QRO video), starting with the dark, haunting disconcert "Comeuppance".  But even within the EP, the band doesn’t play it straight up, going higher on the almost child-like "Pink Noise", atmospheric for "Jelly Chamber", and starkly changing on "Ache of Goon".  Only "The Church of Acorns" feels like ‘traditional’ Most Serene Republic – if anything they do could be considered ‘traditional’ (though it does somewhat remind of Population‘s "Presents of Future End").  And the echo-disconcert of "Comeuppance" returns to close out Fantasick with the title track, that puts it all together.

The ‘less accessible’ hallmarks are all over Fantasick Impossibliss, from the odd-numbered rhythm to abandoning any male/female dueling duets from singer Adrian Jewett & singer/guitarist Emma Ditchburn.  A whole album of it maybe would have been too tough to swallow, but an EP can put anyone on the chilly edge.

MP3 Stream: "Fantasick Impossibliss"

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